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Monday, November 30, 2015

Do Writers Need Coaches?



When it comes to youth sports there have been strides made so that children are taught good sportsmanship skills as well as the skills to play their chosen sport.  They learn how to play as a team, how to play through adversity or injury, how to be smarter than one’s physical abilities, and how to step up to a challenge with courage.  They have fun and feel like winners, regardless of the score.

Well, it sounds good and at times what plays out on the field matches the above, but the majority of the time kids and parents take their wins and losses seriously.  They want to know they are good at something and that they contributed to a victory. Nothing else will placate them.  They know false praise a mile away.  This is true for boys or girls, no matter what the sport is. At an early age they know the score, so to speak.

But I’ve enjoyed coaching my seven-year-old daughter in soccer this fall.  Her team not only wins -- and she contributes greatly with stellar defense -- but most importantly, she has a great attitude.  She loves doing this with me.  I feel the same way.

I’ve coached youth sports even before I had kids.  When I was a teenager I coached Little League baseball and my dad managed.  That was a blast and it was best that kids were led by people other than their parents.  But as a dad, I really enjoy coaching my kids in their respective sports.

I started to think about writers and how they need coaches.  Imagine if a writer has someone telling them to try harder, do it this way and not that, and high-fives them for a well-written passage?

Yes, writers, like athletes, whether amateurs or professionals, need others to inspire, mentor, lead, and support them.  Kids running around trying to kick a ball into a net are not the only ones who benefit from the loving advice and help of others.

Many writing don’t want a coach or to have someone tell them they need to do better, try harder, or write differently.  They also don’t want false praise being showered upon them.  They simply want to produce a masterpiece, sequestered from the world, and then to come back to it and hear critical blessings for their work.

But writers could clearly use a boost from others.  It can be lonely being a writer.  We live in our heads and create a whole fantasy world that goes beyond anything anyone else can imagine. How does one coach a writer who lives in another world?

Writers need people to be there for them, like therapists, to give love and laughter, not necessarily to critique or coach their every pen stroke.  Some writers can work well with a coach who scrutinizes their work and hopefully makes it better.  Whatever type of coach you call upon, if you get someone with the love and energy of a dad coaching his little girl on the soccer field you will have done well for yourself.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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